BVDA - BVDA: Materials and equipment for crime scene officers and forensic laboratories

Taking shoeprints

For making comparison prints of shoes outsoles the product that has been on the market for many years became very difficult to obtain. Therefore, we have developed our own product.
We found that the newer BPA-free printing paper is also less sensitive to the chemical mixture that was used in the coater of the well-known product(s). After some extensive research we came up with a recipe for the inkless ink that works well with this less sensitive paper and uses chemicals that are safe for use.
A description of the procedure to make comparison prints with silicone spray (SLM) and magnetic jet black powder can be found under the tab "Comparison shoeprints" on the page in the fingerprint section on Magnetic Jet Black.


Inkless kit for taking exemplars from feet and footwear
The Sole Print kit consists of a folder made out of two foam filled impression pads, a yellow print pad and a pack of sensitized sheets of paper of 20 x 40 cm / 8 x 16”.
The specially designed impression pads ensure that the sole makes nearly full contact with the yellow printing pad and then with the paper. While making the impression on the paper the foam pad helps to reduce the wrinkling of the paper to a minimum, so that no blank spots appear in the impression.
  • Free from harmful chemicals
  • BPA-free (Bisphenol A) printing paper
  • Large paper size of 20 x 40 cm / 8 x 16”, 100 g/m2    / 26.5 lb
  • Folder with impression pads can be separated and positioned in a convenient direction

Product #
SolePrint, set of 2 impression pads, coater and 100 sheets of paper
100 sheets of paper for SolePrint
Coater, inkless printing pad in folder
The printing paper is BPA-free and the reagent in the yellow pad is free from harmful chemicals. We do, however, recommend that you wear latex or nitrile gloves when working with the kit. Wash skin with water in case of contact.
1. Place folder with the foam impression pads on a bench top. Alternatively, you can place the impression pads on the floor. The folder is magnetically hinged making it easy to separate the two parts. Once separated the impression pads can be placed in the preferred position.
2. Open the coater, this is the thin folder holding the yellow printing pad, and place it on one of the impression pads and a sheet of printing paper on the other pad. Note that only one side of the printing paper is sensitive; make sure the sensitive side is facing upwards. You can test this by quickly swiping your nail in one of the corners of the paper; a black line should appear at the sensitive side of the paper.
3. Press the shoe on the yellow pad making a ‘walking’ motion so that the shoe’s sole is fully covered with the fluid transferred from the yellow pad to the sole. Next, press the shoe on the sheet of printing paper making a similar walking motion starting at the heel of the shoe.
Alternatively, with the impression pads on the floor and the shoe on your foot, walk over the yellow pad and then walk over paper sheet.
Warning: there is a risk of slipping when walking over the foam pad. Support the person making the impression by holding his/her arm or make sure that the person is able to support him/herself sufficiently.
4. Within seconds the print of the sole will start to develop on the paper sheet. Allow the print to fully develop until a black print is visible. Normally this is a matter of less than a minute.
5. Once finished close the folder containing the yellow pad. Although the reagent contained in the pad will only evaporate very slowly, this will extend the life time of the pad.
6. Since the prints may fade in time, it is recommended that the fully developed prints are scanned or copied.